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Activities for Constructivist Learning

The following are some useful activities for teaching about the constructivist learning theory.

Problem Solving

Design a cooperative learning activity for the following situation

Mr. Alva is working on a lesson plan on diversity and individuality for his third-grade class. He would like his students to learn to appreciate differences in people. He hopes they will discover that differences make it possible to learn from one another and that differences make life more fun.

  • Design a cooperative learning activity that will help Mr. Alva’s students achieve his learning objectives.
  • Remember these are third graders—about 8 years old. Make sure your activity is age-appropriate.
  • Have groups report on the cooperative learning activity they have designed

We have just completed a cooperative learning activity

Compound Conjure

This activity demonstrates that constructivist methods can be used in language arts. Students understand compound words by creating their own compound words using word strips.

Directions

Word List

Delicious Density

This activity demonstrates discovery learning in science. Students learn about density by hypothesizing about the weight of various miniature candy bars of similar size. Students then weight the candy bars and write down the weights. Students must then come up with reasons why candy bars of the same size might have different weights. The instructor scaffolds the activity to lead students to the concept of density.

Handout

Problem Solving

This is a great problem solving activity that can be used to explore critical thinking and problem solving methods.

Problem

Solution

Cooperative Learning

This activity helps students understand the different types of cooperative learning that can be implemented in the classroom. Using a jigsaw, students are divided into small groups and learn about a particular method. One student from each group forms another group to teach each other about the method they researched. Students return to their original groups to review. Then students are given a quiz on the methods.

Methods

Quiz

Is Double Stuf really worth it?

This activity corresponds with a nationwide science experiment which tried to determine whether Double Stuf Oreos really did have twice the filling. Students scrape the filling out of a package of Single Stuf and a package of Double Stuf Oreos and weigh the filling from each package on a food scale.

 


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© 2011 Richard Culatta